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I heard 牛陣 was promoting an All-You-Can-Eat, authentic Kobe Beef Shabu-shabu course to promote their newly opened K-11 shop. Knowing this chain is run by Japanese-owned 但馬屋, one of the most reliable World Beef importers which our group of friends always purchase from, we were not perturbed in giving them a trial run!
************************************* 1... There are around 5 Levels of Beef Quality Available. 1) Normal, 2) Better, 3) Wagyu, 4) Better Wagyu, *5) Promotional only Kobe Beef. 2.. The normal 3) Wagyu ($2XX) and Better-Quality 4) Wagyu ($328) use the cheaper cut from Belly and Brisket part. Its something I don't like eating ! 3.. The Kobe Wagyu ($450), which is of the real Hyogo prefecture steer, is a little more expensive, however I decided to order this after asking which muscle cut they use and they said its sourced from along the Back - which usually carries the more expensive cuts. Worth a gamble, as I don't like Wagyu Brisket. When this arrived, it was pretty good indeed. But truth be told, I couldn't work out which muscle this comes from since I have little experience with visually judging various Wagyu cuts. I figured its not the Chuck because that usually has a lot of sinewy tendons, despite appearing to be very marbled - I hate Wagyu Chuck cuts, its deceiving! It looks a little like a Topside or Rump but closer to the Sirloin? Who cares! 4.. Beef taste was quite strong, very well marbled. The only let-down is that, they were shaved so thin.... you can't taste much eating them 1 piece at a time. I hate thin beef! So I cooked them 3-4 pieces at a time to compensate! 5.. Other stuff like Scallops, Fish, Vegies, Noodles, Haagen Dazs Ice-Creams were all refillable, tried a bit of these and they were really high quality too. 6.. The biggest weakness of ordering the most Expensive Kobe Beef Set, is that you can surprisingly only choose 1 Soup Base, rather than a Hybrid - to me, this doesn't make sense mate!
***************************** I know I should not have succumbed, but I ordered the sweetish Sukiyaki flavoured soup that night - even though its just Sukiyaki-Flavoured-Shabu rather than real Sukiyaki-Sukiyaki! I normally don't like Sukiyaki much at all whether its the Shabu or real Sukiyaki versions, but since our friends just made a home-style Sukiyaki not long before using very expensive beef and the Best Sauce available imported from Japan, which was awesome, we were keen to make a direct comparison! In hindsight, I should have picked the Konbu version (normally $20 cheaper, but not for this set, strange!) or Soy Milk version. Yet as pointed out above - this wouldn't even be an issue if the Gyujin shop got rid of that stupid rule of allowing only 1 soup rather than 2 soup-bases for their most expensive set! >.<
I don't know how to rate this meal fairly: I didn't think it was spectacular nor exciting for me, considering the Soup base selection was restricted to 1 and also the way the Wagyu were sliced way too thinly! Having said that, it was certainly Value for Money - seeing how perfectly marbled and meaty each one of these Kobe Beef were, and they did not cheat by given worser quality towards the end either!
Around High '3' to High '4'. Read what you want from this review!